Salgado DR Mission newsletter

Dear mission partners, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ,

As I write this we are still in the States. We have been here about three weeks now spending time with family. This trip has been very different from our trips in the past. Although we don’t come home very often, we do try to stay a bit longer than a month. For Maya and “little” Tony (who is bigger than me now) and myself, it has been almost two years since our last visit. I hoped to speak a little if possible and visit with some supporters and churches, but this trip was not planned for very long and the purpose of this trip was, sadly, to see and spend time with those loved ones who may not be with us for very much longer. I have only had the time to speak at two churches this whole month. One church close to home in Florida, and one in Louisiana. But we want to be close to the family as much as possible.

This trip was put together rather quickly due to the declining health of Christen’s father who has Alzheimer’s and is in a home. Thankfully, we have been able to check him out and bring him to the house we are staying in for days at a time for some much needed time together. But it has really been an emotionally difficult trip for all of us, especially for my wife.

Prayers are very appreciated for her, her father (Edward) and the family. My mother (Clorinda) has been in and out of the hospital with several health issues over the last few months with her health on the decline as well. Our time here has been spent traveling back and forth between Ocala and Tampa trying our best to prioritize who we can visit with and for how long, but it has proven to be very hard. Please pray.

The reality of being here for these reasons, on top of having to be away from Sahira and Yeison for this long has been very hard on us all. Yeison told us yesterday he packed his bag and was ready to get on an airplane to come to us. He doesn’t understand why he can’t come with us and this has been heartbreaking for everybody. Being between two worlds, feeling pulled and stretched in both directions in every way imaginable is not easy, but is just a reality of missionary life. Emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally we are challenged all the time with tough decisions to make. I find myself constantly crying out to God for wisdom with feelings of helplessness and inadequacy. At times we feel like we don’t belong anywhere.

It will be seven years in August, in a different cultural context, and it will take a toll on anyone and certainly change you in many ways. Feeling too American to be Dominican, feeling too different to be comfortable back in an America at times, especially with the rapid pace of change for the worst here. You can probably imagine the confusion and strange emotions we deal with sometimes, especially the children. Praise God that we find our true identity ultimately in Christ and we understand we really are pilgrims and strangers in this or any land for that matter, even the land we were born in.

This helps us not to get too attached to places or things anywhere, but it’s never easy and very few people back home understand. Even well meaning  brothers and sisters who don’t know about life outside of their own context, or don’t have experience overseas or counseling missionaries, can fall short of giving us the counsel and encouragement we often need. Of course, any peace or comfort that we feel comes from Christ and the Spirit, reminding us and confirming God’s promises in the Scriptures. I thank God for His living Word. But humanly speaking, nothing seems simple and things are much easier said than done. It is God Himself who wills this so as to have us depend completely upon Him. This is when the rubber meets the road and we must surrender and simply have an attitude of the heart of “may Your will be done and not ours oh Lord”.

In a great article about the challenges of cross cultural church planting written by Jen Oshem, she describes just a few of the many challenges faced by those in situations similar to ours.

She is right on when she describes the following difficulties for families serving cross-culturally:

1. Traversing two or more cultures can prevent children from having a strong sense of identity and belonging. Also, the endless goodbyes with other expat families or with locals when the church planting family relocates can lead to loneliness and unprocessed grief.

2. Being immersed in a highly secular setting can have a greater influence on a child than their parents’ Christian influence. Kids might be exposed too early—and too often—to the realities of violence, poverty, sex trafficking, corruption, drugs and alcohol, and other dark, worldly trappings.

3. Physical health may suffer, as access to good healthcare may be nonexistent or far away. Everything from a middle-of-the-night fever to scoliosis can morph into a major, life-altering crisis.

4. Kids raised outside of their home countries don’t get to know their cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or the neighborhoods their parents grew up in. They face significant gaps in knowing about their home culture’s norms (going “home” sure doesn’t feel like it) and everyone misses out on the support of extended family in the formative years.

5. Education is a constant concern. Learning in two languages is tough, not to mention dealing with special needs, keeping up with home country requirements, and navigating classmates’ and teachers’ expectations in a foreign country.

6. While everyone says, “Kids are so resilient,” the truth is they probably just don’t have the words to express the grief they feel in living through upheaval and uncertainty. Chances are their emotions are stuffed and saved for later. Many cross-cultural kids experience a season of processing trauma as young adults.

Even with the challenges faced, there is nothing else we would rather do. There is no other way we would rather spend our lives than to pour it forth in service for the glory of God. As we look beyond the trials and difficult moments, it is worth it. It is working in us an eternal weight of glory that greatly out measures any light momentary affliction we may face in this lifetime. And in comparison, as we consider eternity, yes it is light.

Although sometimes, it may not feel that way in the moment. Humanly speaking, is it hard? Yes. Are there moments when you want to throw in the towel and retreat? Yes. But, it is still so worth it. And the day we see our Savior face to face we will understand and even be thankful for those trials that formed us, grew us and forced us closer to Christ. We will understand and we will worship as He wipes away all of our tears, and we will finally be free from the presence of sin and suffering. Pray.

LA CENTRALIDAD DE CRISTO EN TODAS LAS COSAS

“Entonces él les dijo: —¡Insensatos y tardos de corazón para creer todo lo que los profetas han dicho! ¿No era necesario que el Cristo padeciera estas cosas y que entrara en su gloria? Y comenzando desde Moisés y siguiendo por todos los profetas, les declaraba en todas las Escrituras lo que de él decían.”

“porque si creyerais a Moisés, me creeríais a mí, porque de mí escribió él.”

Por que Cristocentrico? Hay mucho en las redes sociales entre los cristianos que usan este termino, muchos libros, sermones,  canciones. Pero que significa y exactamente, y porque se usa? Por que tanta enfasis? Tal vez la pregunta mas importante será,es bíblico darle tanta enfasis a la persona y obra de Cristo? Este tema es uno cual es simple pero a la vez muy profundo y tiene que ver con la teología del “cumplimiento” y es un tema que el mismo Antiguo Testamento da prioridad. Es el mensaje que Juan el Bautista predicó,Jesus y los apostoles predicaron, y es el tema que llega al mismo corazon del evangelio.

El Apostol Pablo declaro que Jesus vino cuando el tiempo fue cumplido. Por lo menos esto implica que hubo un tiempo de preparación. Preparación de algo grande anticipado. En el plan de Dios progresivo, todo de lo que había sucedido tenía su proposito y meta de señalar hacia, y exaltar a Cristo. La era de Moises puntaba a este momento de cumplimiento y dio enfasis a ese momento venidero. El envío del Hijo de Dios indicaba la culminación de ese tiempo. Hasta este punto en la historia, esto había sido la meta de TODO que había sucedido en el pasado. Hablando de las promesas de Dios, todos eran de, y son para Cristo.

El Señor prometió en varias ocasiones un Redentor, Salvador, el Mesias, el mejor y mayor profeta y dador de ley. Todos los tipos y sombras en el Antiguo Testamento eran solo sombras De el que ha de venir.  Se puede decir que nunca ha existido un verdadero rey, un verdadero,  profeta,un verdadero juez, un verdadero maestro. Por que en un sentido todos del pasado eran nada mas que sombras del Verdadero, el Señor Jesucristo!

Desde Genesis a Malaqúias hay algunos 353 profecias acerca de Cristo cumplidas en el Nuevo Testamento!

La Biblia fue escrita y preservada para nosotros, pero no es acerca de nosotros, las Escrituras dan testimonio de Cristo! Todas las promesas son a Él, a Cristo, y somos herederos de esas promesas por fe en Él.

“porque todas las promesas de Dios son en él «sí», y en él «Amén», por medio de nosotros, para la gloria de Dios.”

Agustín es que está acreditado con decir, “el antiguo está en el nuevo revelado, y el nuevo está en el antiguo ocultado”.

Desde Genesis vemos en el ‘protoevangelio”, la primera promesa de redención, que se cumplio en la cruz.

“Pondré enemistad entre ti y la mujer, y entre tu simiente y la simiente suya; ésta te herirá en la cabeza, y tú la herirás en el talón.”

En Deutoronomio vemos la promesa de un profeta como Moises… Pero mejor, mayor.

“»Un profeta como yo te levantará Jehová, tu Dios, de en medio de ti, de tus hermanos; a él oiréis.” Deuteronomio‬  18:15

En el Nuevo vemos El Padre decir lo mismo de una nube de gloria en la transfiguración.

“Y se les aparecieron Moisés y Elías, que hablaban con él. Entonces Pedro dijo a Jesús: «Señor, bueno es para nosotros que estemos aquí; si quieres, haremos aquí tres enramadas: una para ti, otra para Moisés y otra para Elías.» Mientras él aún hablaba, una nube de luz los cubrió y se oyó una voz desde la nube, que decía: «Éste es mi Hijo amado, en quien tengo complacencia; a él oíd.» Al oír esto, los discípulos se postraron sobre sus rostros y sintieron gran temor. Entonces Jesús se acercó y los tocó, y dijo: «Levantaos y no temáis.» Cuando ellos alzaron los ojos, no vieron a nadie, sino a Jesús solo.”

Moises y Elias, quienes siempre han representado a la ley y los profetas, en este instante muy significante, desaparecen y el texto dice que alzaron los ojos, y no vieron a nadie, sino a Jesus solo! ¡A él oíd! Esto es el mensaje de la Biblia. Jesus es el verdadero Profeta, el verdadero, Rey, el verdadero Maestro, el verdadero Juez, el Sumosacerdote de el mejor y nuevo pacto basado en mejores promesas, y el verdadero y mayor dador de la ley, Su ley, ¡la ley de Cristo!

Todo punta a Cristo, los sacrificios, el templo, el tabernaculo, el Sabado, y podemos escribir ejemplos inumerables de los tipos y sombras de Cristo en el Antiguo Testamento. Pero el Nuevo lo declara con mas claridad.

Cristo está-

“sobre todo principado y autoridad, poder y señorío, y sobre todo nombre que se nombra, no solo en este siglo, sino también en el venidero.”

Cristo es-

“Él, que es el resplandor de su (Dios) gloria, la imagen misma de su sustancia y quien sustenta todas las cosas con la palabra de su poder…”

¡Es Cristo que sustiene todo en la creación!

En Cristo-

fueron creadas todas las cosas, las que hay en los cielos y las que hay en la tierra, visibles e invisibles; sean tronos, sean dominios, sean principados, sean potestades; todo fue creado por medio de él y para él. Y él es antes que todas las cosas, y todas las cosas en él subsisten.”

Todas las cosas por medio de él fueron hechas, y sin él nada de lo que ha sido hecho fue hecho.”  San Juan‬

¡Cristo es todo! Y en la infinita sabiduria de Dios el Padre, el lo decretó asi y El Espiritú lo glorifica y nos guia hacia Él.

Como critianos, debemos tambien ser Cristocentricos por queCristo es el centro y en la Palabra de Dios es asi.  Y si Cristo es el centro de la Biblia (Y el universo) entonces debe ser el centro de nuestras vidas tambien. Nuestra nueva identidad está en él y en todo momento debemos adorar y dar gracias que por fe, y con un corazon humilde podemos acercarnos a este Rey de Reyes y Señor de Señores a quien merece toda honra y gloria y poder por los siglos de los siglos amen.

El gran misterio en todo esto es esta hermosa verdad:

Pero Dios demuestra su amor para con nosotros, en que siendo aún pecadores, Cristo murió por nosotros.Romanso 5:8

Arrepientate de tu pecado y de confiar en ti mismo.  Venga a Cristo, crea en Cristo, confia en Cristo.  Tendras paz para con Dios, perdon de tus pecados,  descanso para tu alma. Centre su vida en Cristo, porque él verdaderamente es el centro de todas las cosas.

 

Antonio Salgado Jr.

Esposo de Christen Rodriguez de Salgado, padre de cinco hijos para la gloria de Dios, Pastor fundador de la Iglesia Bautista de Hato Mayo en Santiago, fundador de la Sociedad Misionera Cristiano Bíblico,

Salgado DR Mission Newsletter

Dear mission partners, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ,

This month we a wonderful update and praise report. Thank you to all who joined us in prayer for this. The Lord has truly heard our prayers.

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. – Luke 18:1

For years my wife wanted another child, but I did not. My wife prayed for one and for me and the Lord changed my heart. We tried for years to have another child but were not able to. We continued to pray. One day out in the campo, God brought across our path a sick, weak, and injured little three month old boy. His mother was an extremely poor and mentally handicapped young lady who was the victim of a rape. Her own mother allowed her to be prostituted and sexually abused by men. This baby was malnutritioned, dehydrated had some physical problems in his neck, face and feet, including possible neurological damage from being dropped on his head on a cement floor at only ten days old. He was in bad shape and basically slowly dying.

We took him to a hospital to be treated and planned to have him checked out and help nurse him back to health. The family decided the child would be better off with us and would probably just die if left with the mother. We came home with him that night with mixed feelings. We found ourselves just staring at his little disfigured face and weak frame wondering if this was God answering a long time prayer of ours. Christen and I then put our hands on this child and prayed over him asking God to bless him, strengthen him, and allow us to care for him.

Shortly after we took him to the government agency here that oversees adoptions. We didnt know anything and were wondering what to do next. They asked us many questions, told us we would never be able to keep the child and even threatened to take him from us. By God’s grace one woman in charge allowed us to leave with him that day. They said it would be impossible.

We continued to care for him. Our children accepted him as their sibling and we quickly fell in love with Yeison. We saw him quickly become strong and active, though we still worried about him because of his mother’s condition and his head injury as a new born. Time passed but we didn’t find anyone who could help us. We continued to pray.

A few months ago we had a glimmer of hope hearing of other missionaries who successfully obtained custody or even were in an adoption process. We were told this was near impossible. We finally began learning more about the system, the process and the laws. A few months ago by the grace of God, we were finally able to get him a birth certificate. Before that, he basically didn’t exist. We learned a little more and eventually tried to get legal custody on our own with his mother present and a letter from a psychiatrist proving her inability to care for the child. Again they told us no, we would not be able to have him as our own. Even with the horrible conditions where he was born, the authorities argued he was better off with the mother (she could not care for herself or provide for him), than with a family that loved him, provided for him and has been raising him for three years.

We were very torn and grieved at how this could be possible. Doubts and questions swarmed our minds. Was this the Lord’s will? We began to pray even more for him and the situation. Shortly after we met a lawyer who agreed to help us and things started looking up. We were very nervous about everything being rejected and told bad news over and over. The process has been long and difficult. Misplaced documents, legalize this, get a seal on this, pay a tax on that. Go to this place and another and another with many appointments and meetings, sometimes for nothing and to make no progress at all.

We finally seemed to be getting somewhere a few weeks ago. We would pick up and drop off his biological mother during his whole process. Lots of trips, lots of frustrations and lots of disappointments along the way. Today we finally were interviewed by a very intimidating judge. She was short with us, very serious, and had us nervous. We had prayed before getting out of the car and before going in. When suddenly towards the end of a very long interview and nerve racking interview, her countenance seemed to soften and her tone was changing. She said she wants to send a social worker to where his mother lives and then to our home where the child now lives. But before ending the meeting, after years of praying and tears we heard what seemed to be the most comforting news we had heard in a long time. We had been told it would be impossible. We were told to give up, it wouldn’t happen. But we prayed and prayed and trusted the Lord.

Just a couple of days ago that same judge told us that SHE WILL BE GRANTING US LEGAL CUSTODY of this special little boy. Our hearts lept with joy and praises to the Lord!

He is a living miracle, he is a testimony to God’s faithfulness, and the Lord has taught our family so much through him and on this journey. He is a constant reminder of God’s grace given to us as His adopted children.

This is our story. The little boy’s name is Yeison. He is our son.

Our God is Good and Mighty and Faithful and True. Blessed be the name of the Lord! Pray.

 

In service to our King,

Antonio Salgado Jr.

Salgado DR Mission

 

…to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.- Ephesians 3:21